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The uncertainty over negotiations

for Brexit has caught up with

the City letting market and the

current quarter is likely to

produce very poor results.

That is the prediction of John

Ostroumoff, of Ostroumoff who is

pleading for the major players in the

market to come together and form a

committee devoted to arguing the

City’s case at a time when occupiers

have to face increases in business

rates in April. “We have no idea

where we are and this uncertainty is

causing real damage to confidence”,

he said. “The City needs to have a

powerful voice in arguing its case at

a time where there is not only the

problem of Brexit, but the whole

future of the European Union”.

CITY

challenge

John Ostroumoff

Like other parts of London,

Midtown is constantly changing

and is increasingly becoming a

melting pot for businesses.

That is the view of Farebrother,

whose Julian Hind added that: “while

the area has long been associated

with legal and other professional

services, that stereotype is increasingly

a thing of the past”. Farebrother

highlighted the arrival of Publicis to 40

Chancery Lane as being emblematic of

how Midtown identity is changing.

In the past it would hve been highly

unlikely for such a large marketing

and communications company to opt

for the area. Hind said: “Clearly,

Crossrail will be transformational but

it is also about the quality of the

environment in Midtown. Recent

new developments have brought

better amenities to the location”.

Melting

POT

Julian Hind

Just how far London changes shape

in the next decade as new areas

expand their commercial appeal

will be one of the fascinating

events of the UK economy.

The business district of the

South Bank spreads east and

west; Kings Cross and that part

of north London deepens its

commercial area and Docklands

performs and links more effectively

with Stratford.

Given the importance of the HS2

rail line it could be expected that

Euston would be on the list for

development starting with tenders

to rebuild the railway station.

What is emerging at nearby

Kings Cross is a fast growing tech

hub with Camden Council getting

in on the action by hosting a tech

hub in its town hall as part of the

refurbishment of the building.

Even more significant is that

Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosen have

been selected by the British Library

to develop an adjacent 8 acre site

for a new science hub in St Pancras.

The site is capable of up to

65,030 sq.metres (700,000

sq.ft.

),

part of which will be for the new

Alan Turing Institute for computer

research together with extra space

for the British Library.

What makes this so special is

that Google is to develop a

60,385 sq.metres (650,000

sq.ft.

),

ten storey building to house

7,000 employees on its campus at

Kings Cross.

Google’s Sundar Pichal said:

“Here in the UK it is clear to me that

computer science has a great future

with the talent, educational

institutions and passion for

innovation we see all around us”.

East London is also pushing the

technology focus with THECUBE, a

post incubator scientific facility for

SMEs opening in the londoneast-uk

Business & Technical Park in

Dagenham on the former site of

Sanofi’s pharmaceutical plant.

Chinese investors are attracted

to east London and a Sino-Australian

company is in the running to

develop a 557,400 sq.metres

(6 million

sq.ft.

) trade park for the

25 acre Albert Island site close to

the vast development at Royal

Albert Dock by joint venture

SITIC & ABP.

Underlining its commitment to

east London, Workspace is to

redevelop Stratford Village in a

mixed use scheme with 101

residential units and offices. In

Hackney, Workspace has planning

permission for the development

of Mare Street Studios in a scheme

with 3,530 sq.metres (38,000

sq.ft

.)

of offices and light industrial.

Commercial Property Register

February - May 2017

www.compropregister.com

6

NEWS

8

Growing

LIKE TOPSY

Branson

The balanced performance of so many

different parts of London has been

impressive for a number of years.

But is the party coming to an end

on the rock of the Brexit situation?

If the predictions of John Ostroumoff

prove to be correct, then many complacent

politicians and the business world are in for

a real shock. It will underline his case for a

powerful push by the Square Mile led by the City of London to make

the government heed the potential damage that is happening.

The damage this will cause to confidence is enormous and play

straight into the hands of major cities like Paris and Frankfurt waiting

to gobble up the City’s business. On the other hand, Europe has its

considerable uncertainties to come in the form of elections in France,

Germany and the Netherlands.

Even so, London has so much going for it at the moment through

expanding technology companies in so many locations and the forward

looking creation of tech hubs, such as the one adjacent to the British

Library. In addition there are the major transport improvements ot

Crossrail, Thameslink and new tube and main line trains.

However it is hard to see how any force can push back the problems

of negotiations over Brexit and the volatility that will bring in a

minimum of the two year period. So we do need an independent voice

for London talking above the machinations of the politicians.